By Arkangel Tembo
Blantyre, November 6, Mana: Football Association of Malawi (FAM) President, Walter Nyamilandu Friday said cyber bullying, harassment and abuse silences girls’ voices and was a barrier to their development and achievements in life.
He made the remarks at Mpira Village in Blantyre when he signed Plan International Malawi’s petition on ending cyber bullying, harassment and abuse.
Nyamilandu said that locally girls in football like ladies National team players, the Scorchers are not being spared.
“Our women’s football players, referees, officials and fans are constantly abused, bullied and harassment on social media. Just like all the girls, they cannot freely talk and showcase their careers and lifestyle online without getting abusive remarks,” he disclosed.
The FAM President said statistics show that girls are three times more likely to be bullied on social media platforms than boys or adults.
Nyamilandu said because of this, most girls shy away from cyber space’s thereby being disadvantaged to access prospects available online like scholarships, jobs, businesses and many other opportunities.
“On behalf of FAM and the football fraternity, I am here to join a number of leaders in this country and beyond to endorse Plan International Malawi’s #FreeToBeOnline campaign.
“By signing this petition, we are adding our voice from the football family calling for social media companies, authorities, internet service providers and social media users to take action in ensuring that cyber space’s are safe for girls,” he added.
Nyamilandu noted that FAM’s commitment to support #FreeToBeOnline campaign was timely as Malawi Women’s Football National Team (The Scorchers) is in South Africa for the COSAFA championship with their opening match tomorrow against Lesotho.
“We look forward to seeing them freely expressing themselves on social media platforms to celebrate their success stories at the COSAFA championship,” he concluded.